The Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, has now set out his “Roadmap to Recovery” for the UK, in response to the current situation with COVID-19. So, what does that mean for a local, family-owned Tour Operator specialising in Day Tours of Yorkshire from York, Leeds and Harrogate that is currently still in lockdown and well and truly furloughed?
Step One of his cautious plan is just to open the schools on the 8th March which, whilst very welcome, doesn’t change things for us at all. If all goes well with the schools opening, Step Two will occur five weeks later on the 12th April, when shops, outdoor attractions and some indoor leisure facilities will be permitted to open, together with limited outdoor socialising and overnight leisure stays in self-contained accommodation. Step Three is scheduled for another five weeks later on the 17th May, again based upon the success of Step Two, when hotels, B&Bs, restaurants and pubs can fully reopen. The final Step Four is currently planned for another five weeks later on the 21st June, when pretty much everything can return to some sort of normality. I suppose we should be thankful that, at least, we now have visibility on a plan that we can work to!
Last year, we geared ourselves up to operate our Tours on a “COVID-secure” basis in accordance with the “We’re Good to Go” industry standard. Sadly, we didn’t get many opportunities to practice our procedures last year but we are satisfied that they will keep everyone safe and we are now ready to operate as soon as the rules permit. We have two different types of tour to consider, Private Group Tours and Public Day Trips from York, so, having now studied the new rules/guidance, we have come up with our own “Roadmap to Recovery”.
We will restart on the 12th April, initially just offering our SMALL Private Group Tours for families/social bubbles who want to get out and enjoy the countryside from York, Leeds or Harrogate. Our precautions will initially include everyone wearing a face covering, whilst inside the vehicle.
We have then decided to let things settle down a bit, following things opening up at Step Three, and have scheduled our regular, public Day Trips from York to operate from the 1st June. We will initially be limiting numbers to maximum 10 guests per tour through June, to ensure social distancing, so we suggest people book early if they want to join us – online booking on our website is now open.
The last year has not been a complete waste of our time – we now have a lot more Private Tour options, small/medium/large groups and full/half days, as well as a completely new “All Creatures Great & Small” tour!
We are really looking forward to getting cracking again and, hopefully, it will just be onwards and upwards this time!
You may have heard the news (Wednesday 9th September) that a new law is being passed in England, with effect from Monday 14th September 2020, which will make it illegal for people to gather in groups of more than 6.
If you’ve booked, or are thinking of booking a tour with us in the coming days, weeks or months – don’t panic! Our tours are still going ahead with our well-established and rigorous COVID-19 protocols in place.
Before now, the UK Government had ‘advised’ us not to meet in groups of more than 6 people at a time, but the police had no power to act if this advice was ignored, except where gatherings exceeded 30 people.
From Monday, if you meet – in public or private – with more than 5 other people who are not from your own household or ‘social bubble’, you can now be fined or even arrested.
So how come we can take more than 6 people on our Tours of Yorkshire?
We operate 17-seat Mini-Coaches with a public service vehicle (PSV) Operator’s License issued under the direction of the Office of the Traffic Commissioner. This means that, like buses & coaches, the ‘Rule of 6’ doesn’t apply to us, provided our customers wear face coverings whilst inside the vehicle and socially distance – something our COVID-secure procedures already ensure.
As an aside…
… (and a totally geeky transport point) a Mini-Coach (or Minibus) is classified as a vehicle with 9 or more seats – often 6, 7 & 8 seater vehicles get referred to as ‘Minibuses’, but in the eyes of the law these are just big cars and operate under a totally different licencing system!
Are BOBH – Day Tours of Yorkshire “COVID-secure”?
Yes – as much as any business can be! As responsible business owners, and holders of Visit Britain’s “Good to Go” industry standard, we have put rigorous measures in place to help ensure the safety of our customers, staff and the wider Yorkshire communities. These include:
- Social distancing
- Wearing of face coverings whilst inside the vehicle
- Regular use of hand sanitiser
- Frequent, thorough cleaning of our vehicles
You can read more about our COVID-19 protocols on the FAQs website page.
Even though the ‘Rule of 6’ doesn’t apply to passengers in our vehicles, since we resumed our tours post-lockdown, we have limited the maximum number of passengers per tour to 10 (usually 16). The layout of the seats inside our vehicle means that, with no more than 10 passengers, everyone can be safely socially distanced and have the added benefit of a window seat!
We hope you find this information reassuring! As ever, if the advice changes or new laws come into effect that affect how we run our tours, we’ll be the first to let you know!
You may want to stay over in York to join one of our Full-Day Tours of Yorkshire, but we have now introduced new Half-Day Private Guided Tours that can very easily be enjoyed as a day excursion from London, just for your Group/Family, for around £80 per person – this is how to do it!
You need to catch a train from London Kings Cross that arrives in York by 10.00am and we suggest returning on a train leaving in the early evening to give you time to also explore York after our trip. We suggest you book that on the Trainline website and, by booking ahead, you get the cheapest fares – currently around £40 return. – https://www.thetrainline.com/
We will pick you up from the station at 10.00am and operate four different Private Half-Day Tours, all available on any day, departing at 10.00am and returning to York at 2.30pm:
Yorkshire Dales National Park Tour
North York Moors National Park Tour
These Private Half-Day Tours/Trips are currently available for Groups/Families of up to 4 people for £195 or Groups/Families of up to 8 people for £295 (both plus a 6% Booking Fee), so can cost as little as £40 per person.
You can check out and book our trips on our website – bobholidays.com/tours/private-tours/
You just need to coincide the booking of our tour with your date of travel by train
We hope to see you on one of our trips but, if you have any questions, just ask!
8th August 2020